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ImageHigher testosterone levels have been linked to higher aggression levels in men, and now a study indicates that in CEOs negotiating mergers and acquisitions, increased levels are linked to a higher rate of dropped deals and an increase in hostile takeover attempts.

"We find a strong association between male CEOs being young and their withdrawal rate of initiated M&As," said authors Maurice Levi, Kai Li, and Feng Zhang of the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia.

"High testosterone responders tend to reject low offers even though this is against their interest," they added.

Younger CEOs are 4 percent likelier to try and acquire another company than older men, and 20 percent likelier to withdraw a merger/acquisition bid.

In case of younger CEOs, there is a greater likelihood – by 2percent - of a tender offer. A tender offer is used by bidding companies to bypass targeted companies' leadership and directly contact stockholders to purchase controlling shares.

The study appears in the current issue of Management Science.

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